Tag Archives: Apologetics

In Defense of ‘in the beginning god…’

While on deployment as a Samaritan’s Purse Volunteer to a rebuild team after Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we were being hosted by the Grace Baptist Church of Brazoria, the church of Pastor Mark Brumbelow. If you have been around the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program, you’ve heard of Pastor Mark – a unique pastor, to be sure. We had the privilege of hearing Pastor Mark preach God’s Word. His Wednesday evening sermon was short and to the point. Please allow me to paraphrase his sermon, because I could never hope to do justice to his down-to-earth cowboy-style preaching. It went something like this:

“There was a man, who’s name was Darwin. And Darwin wrote this book about what he was supposin’ was natural selection. In this book, he was supposin’ that man came from apes, which he was supposin’ came from some other animals. Now, he was supposin’ that all animals came from this ooze that he was supposin’ was left over from the beginnings of the Earth, which he was supposin’ happened all by itself.

Now, there’s this other book called The Bible, which is the Word of God. And the very first words in The Bible are, “In the beginning, God…” And if you were to suppose that “In the beginning, God…,” then your supposin’ is all done. Because, the Word of God goes on to say that God created all things. And, that settles that.”

The point is that those who do not hold to the inerrancy of the Bible – as the very Word of God – see the world and all that is in it much differently than those of us who do – they take in all the same sights and sounds, view everything that is in this big beautiful world and do not see the One who created it. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)  

Let me make that point another way. I invited an archeologist, an expert on researching new finds in the Middle-East, to speak at our church many years ago. He was with the US Army Corps of Engineers and was in town for official business. In our spare time, I had a chance to talk with him about his research in the Middle-East, and was fascinated by what he had to say. So, he accepted my rather impromptu invitation to speak at our church. He made one incredible point that I have never forgotten. He said that Middle-East archaeologists carry the Bible whether they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, any other religious persuasion (or none), because it’s never wrong. They have learned that if the Bible says some there is a city somewhere, and they have not found it, it is not because the Bible is wrong, simply that they haven’t looked hard enough, yet.

What is so incredible about that statement is that it fits the way we determine truth from evidence. If something is accurate and true historically, culturally, and other verifiable ways, it stands to reason that it is accurate in its meaning, too – in the case of the Bible, that means spiritually. For instance, Bible-believers have been mocked for ages because we believe the Biblical account that says ‘there were giants in the land’ (Genesis 6:4). And then…archaeologists started uncovering evidence and bones of people 17 to 30 feet tall. There WERE giants in the land, and if Biblical experts had written off the Biblical accounts of giants simply because science had no proof that such beings ever existed, then they would have destroyed their own credibility when the evidence finally did surface.

But, what do we do about that? Of what value is such information? Well, what I’ve been trying to do today is demonstrate that people who believe in the Bible, and people who don’t, interpret data from a completely different worldview. I hope to share some things with you over the next weeks that will support the Biblical worldview in ways that will help you have confidence in, and be able to defend that worldview.

Introduction to Biblical Apologetics…Shared Unapologetically

That title may seem like a conflict in terminology. But, given that ‘Apologetics’ is defined as ‘making a defense’, it makes more sense that we who believe what the Bible says would share it without apology. But, there is a huge gap in today’s world between sharing and defending our faith.

We need to start by looking at some research done by the Barna Group and Answers in Genesis, the folks who gave us The Creation Museum and The Ark Adventure. By the way, if you have not been to either or both of these Christian sites, you really must. If you care at all about defending our faith in today’s world, it is a trip worth your time, energy and money – and it’s not that expensive. So, go! Take your kids, take your church youth group, take your church’s young parents group, take your church’s Sunday School teachers.

Back to the research project, in which the Barna Group found that 70% of the children of church-going families are leaving the church as soon as they are out on their own.  Yes!  Read that sentence again. SEVENTY PERCENT of children brought up in the church are leaving as soon as they can make those decisions for themselves. So, Answers to Genesis surveyed this group of young adults to find out why. They received a smattering of reasons, but THE most prevalent was that they did not believe the Bible stories they were taught in Sunday School – they did not want to perpetuate the stories that even their teachers didn’t believe. To put an exclamation on that statement, young adults who had been brought up in Sunday School left the church at a higher percentage that those who were just taken to church. (Already Gone by Ken Ham, Britt Beemer, and Todd Hillard – Answers in Genesis)

What that tells us is that it is not enough to simply share Bible stories with our youth. We have to tell them these stories are TRUE and that WE believe they are TRUE. Furthermore, we need to teach that there evidence – real scientific evidence – of these truths. Let me give you a scenario to demonstrate. Let’s say that little Johnny goes to Sunday School and learns about Noah’s Ark. The teacher uses a picture of cute little arks bobbing on the water with cartoon animals sticking their heads out of the windows (we’ve all seen it), and maybe a cute little song about the animals coming 2 by 2.

The next day, Johnny goes to school and shares what he learned with his friends on the playground. Along comes Billy, the playground bully, who teases Johnny for believing such a nonsense story. What does Johnny do? NOTHING! Because nobody told Johnny that the story was true, or even that his teacher believes it to be true. Nobody gave Johnny any clue that there was any real evidence that it is true. We might as well be teaching our children with Aesop’s Fables!

What if we teach these stories as if they are true – because they ARE – and tell our children about the evidence that’s out there. Now, little children may be too young to understand all the science behind that truth. But, we can at least teach them that if there were no world-wide flood, we would not find fish fossils on top of mountains! Then, we can teach them more about the science as they progress to the point that they are ready for that.

We need to teach people at all ages how to defend our faith. Gone are the days when the Bible is just accepted as the ultimate authority. Here’s another example; this one for adults. We live in a day when even most Christians don’t really believe the Biblical account of creation. Face it; it’s true. Most people – most CHRISTIANS – believe that evolution is real science and that the Bible simply short-cuts the story to 6 days. So, if evolution is true, we’ve had literally eons of animals being born and dying, each generation getting more complex until, voilà, we have man in some primitive form.  OK, here’s a question for you to ask people who believe that: If evolution is true, and eons of generations of animals have come and gone to get us where we are today, then why did Jesus have to die on a cross? Think about that for a minute. Why did Jesus die? To pay our ‘wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23a). Why? Because death was the penalty for sin, for the original sin of Adam and Eve. If there had already been eons of death on earth, then death did not come as a penalty of sin and we have no ‘wages of sin’ to pay. So, Jesus would not have had to die to pay that price for us to save us from our sin.

That is the way we have to teach our Bible classes in a day when everyone questions everything, and there are so many voices competing for our minds and souls.